Comparison and Contrast of How Roland and Arjuna Try to Overcome their Dilemmas

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The purpose of this article is to compare and contrast the issues these two characters had, how they dealt with the dilemmas, the lessons we can learn from how they dealt with their dilemmas, and what we can learn about their cultures' values and priorities from the confrontations they had. In this scenario, the two protagonists are Roland from The Song of Roland, whose stepfather abandoned him and left him outnumbered in combat, and Arjuna from The Bhagavad Gita, who was forced to fight against his family and friends at war. Roland, whose step-father betrayed by working with their enemies to fight them at war, is faced with the dilemma of how to defeat the huge army that ambushed him and his few soldiers (Butler 94). He is overcome with pride and refuses to blow the Oliphant until the Saracens outweigh them. When this happens, he blows his horn for Charlemagne to go and see what happened in order to avenge but he blows it so hard that his temples burst and he dies. The other protagonist, Arjuna, who also faced the dilemma of fighting against his friends and family at war (Arnold 476), overcomes his dilemma by getting motivation from the god Krishna who convinces him that he must not fear death and he has a duty to fulfill. He then proceeds to battle against his friends and family.

The Key Lessons to be Learned as the Characters Confront the Difficult Situations

From the way Roland and Arjuna faced their hard situations, the first lesson to be learned is that Roland was a brave warrior (Butler, 95). The given assertion is seen as he believed his small army could defeat the large army that ambushed them. Therefore, he did not call for help when he could. The other lesson is that Arjuna was godly and had compassion. The given situation is seen as he had Krishna with him, whom he asked for guidance on what to do in his dilemma. Compassion is also seen as he did not have the courage to kill his people.

What These Confrontations Tell About the Priorities and Values of Their Cultures

From Roland’s confrontation, it is clear that winning a war was of great importance to their culture. The same is evident as he is determined to face the huge army that ambushed them and when they are almost defeated, he blows his horn for Charlemagne to go and see what had happened in order to avenge. Arjuna’s confrontation also shows that in their culture, they are religious people. The same is evident as he is seen with Krishna by his side and, stuck in the dilemma, he asks for guidance (Arnold, 476).

Works Cited

Butler, Isabel. The Song of Roland. Kessinger Pub, 2009, pp. 94-95.

Arnold, Edwin. The Bhagavad Gita: The Song Celestial. Watkins, 2006, p. 476.

May 10, 2023

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